CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Virginia's Matt Moore couldn't help but smile when asked about the significance of the men's lacrosse team's visit to Duke this weekend.
"We have our goal sheet in the beginning of the year, and 'beat Duke' is my number one goal," Moore said before practice on Wednesday. "Obviously we have small goals, medium goals, big goals. But beating Duke is definitely one of our biggest ones, so it's really exciting."
Ranked No. 4 in the country in the latest coaches poll, the Cavaliers will take an eight-game winning streak to Durham. Three of those wins have come against ACC opponents. With a win on Saturday, the Wahoos would complete the program's first unbeaten regular season in the conference since 2006, when UVA finished a perfect 17-0 and won the NCAA title.
The Cavaliers have already clinched the top seed in this year's ACC tournament for the first time since 2010.
But as UVA coach Lars Tiffany pointed out this week, recent history will not be on the Cavaliers' side on Saturday. Virginia has lost 10 straight against the Blue Devils. The Wahoos' last win in the series came in overtime in the 2010 ACC tournament. UVA hasn't beaten Duke during the regular season since 2004, and hasn't won in Durham in 16 years.
"It's in the back of everyone's head. But I think, we don't want to beat Duke to necessarily break that streak," admitted UVA sophomore defenseman Kyle Kology. "I think it's more that Duke's a great program, and if we beat them then we're 4-0 in the ACC."
Duke will take the field on Saturday ranked sixth in the country in the latest coaches poll. While the Wahoos rank ninth in the country in scoring offense at 13.36 goals per game, Duke's scoring defense (9.00 goals per game) is tied for fifth nationally.
"It's a great opponent, a very athletic team," Tiffany said. "We like to run. Duke probably runs better than we do. They've got the athletes to get up and down the field. And so this will really challenge, not only our athleticism, but do we understand how to perform our schemes against really superior talent."